How to restore your rusted old tools
Next came disassembly. We unbolted the cast-iron wings from each side of the saw and removed the motor. We were pleased to find that the motor was a commercial-duty type with twin capacitors-one to start the motor turning and another to provide extra kick to the run winding. The motor’s shaft and pulley were all in good shape. We used compressed air to blow accumulated sawdust and cobwebs out of the saw’s cavity.
Next came removal of surface rust from the saw’s table and wings. We wet down the surface with kerosene as a cutting lubricant and left it alone to penetrate while we ate lunch. To buff the rust away, we chucked up a variable-speed electric drill with a 2.5-inch abrasive nylon cup brush embedded with 240-grit aluminum oxide. At a low 500 rpm, with a back-and-forth movement, the brush removed the rust without marring the surface.
We mounted the wings back on the saw and found that we could align them with the saw table by flexing them slightly and carefully tapping them into position with a dead-blow hammer.
After placing a new 10-inch carbide blade on the arbor (the shaft the blade goes on), Romanski used a machinist’s square to ensure the blade was perpendicular to the table. With the blade at 90 degrees, the pointer on the saw’s tilt scale should read 0 degrees-if not, the pointer is moved to the zero mark. Next we adjusted the fence and its locking mechanism to make it snug, a fussy trial-and-error process. With the saw blade raised to its full height, we used a pair of steel rulers to check that the fence was parallel to the blade at the front and back.